SELLERS: Here, in all its stark reality, is the true story of; "The Man Who Never Was".
ORCHESTRA: dramatic link
GRAMS: distant shelling
GREENSLADE: April the first, . For the Allies the first hope
of victory was almost in sight. North Africa has been won with the aid of Lance Bombardier Milligan, Gunner Secombe, and Burma was holding out with leading aircraftsman, Peter Sellers.
JAMPTON: Yes. The next move was the invasion of Europe. La-um-a-um-a-um. Would they attack through the soft underbelly? Would it be Yugoslavia? Greece? Sicily? We would see. Yes…
SEAGOON: An invasion force was made ready. For weeks we waited for the right weather. Nerves were tense.
GENERAL: Captain, the men are getting jumpy hanging around, you know. Any idea what the weather's going to be like tomorrow?
JAMPTON: Yes, it's going to be perfect at last. No wind, warm, and a full moon.
GENERAL: Well that settles it. Tomorrow, we'll go and see Robert Atkins at the open Air Theatre, Regent's Park.
OMNES: murmurs of agreement
GREENSLADE: Yes indeed. There was confidence for you. But the main problem; how to distract the Germans from knowing our intention to land in Sicily. Let's go back to that fateful night on June the third of October, .
SEAGOON: It was that very night that I, Captain Seagoon, was sitting in the lounge at the House of Lords Yacht Club, at Southend. Suddenly, the footman came along, and tapped me on the shoulder with his foot.
Footman: Pardon me, sir, Colonel Gore would be pleased to see you out on the balcony, sir.
SEAGOON: Oh, so he's out there is he?
Footman: Er, no, he's in here, that's why he'd be pleased to see you out there.
SEAGOON: Well, I… I think I'll go out for a breath of fresh air.
Footman: Thank you sir. That'll save us opening the window. Oh, and pardon
me sir, your taxi's outside.
SEAGOON: I know.
Footman: The police say would you move it on a bit further, please.
GREENSLADE: Grabbing his flying jacket as it flew by him, Captain Seagoon strode
swiftly up the wall, across the crowded ceiling, hurling members to the floor below with cries of...
SEAGOON: Prols! You shouldn't be up here! And you!
BLUEBOTTLE: No, don't throw me down. I'm always up here! Hello everybody!
SEAGOON: Are you a member?
BLUEBOTTLE: No! I'm a Bluebottle.
SEAGOON: What's that you're reading?
BLUEBOTTLE: A fly paper.
GREENSLADE: Seagoon flung the interloper aside with a muttered oath.
SEAGOON: I swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth!
GREENSLADE: Donning his explodable shirt, he ran casually down to the sea.
LITTLE JIM: He's fallen in the water!
SEAGOON: On the beach, barely visible in the moonlight, I saw - a body!
SPRIGGS: Hello Jim! Hello Jim! It's my body, Jim. I always bring it with me, Jim. Always bring it with meeeeeee!
SEAGOON: But, but, but, but, but, but, but, (chicken clucking)... What's that on the beach?
off) Left, left, left right left, left, left, pick ‘em up there, left, left, left right left, left, left, left right left, left, left, left right left right, keep it up there, left, left...
BLOODNOK: Ooohh! What a brilliant fellow that Sergeant is.
SPY: Then vhy has he left me behind?
BLOODNOK: What a stupid idiot that Sergeant is, leaving a spy at liberty!
SPY: Please believe me! I'm not a schpy! I come here seeking political asylum.
BLOODNOK: Well, take a bus to the House of Commons, that's the finest political
asylum in the world! They're all there, you know! (wobbles finger in mouth) Oh! Lovely to be back in England, including Max Geldray the well known, long playing record!!
GREENSLADE: I don't know how he gets away with it. And now we have great pleasure in returning you to the Goon Show. (This is where the story really starts!) Now showing at your local radio disguised as ‘The Was Who Never Man,’ part the ping. Thank you.
ORCHESTRA: dramatic link
FX: door opening
GLADYS: Arrghhh, arrrghh. Major Bloodnok, sir.
BLOODNOK: What is it Gladys?
GLADYS: Someone's coming up the stairs, sir.
BLOODNOK: What? Quick! Burn this on the fire!
GLADYS: Right! What is it?
BLOODNOK: A piece of coal!
FX: door opening
SEAGOON: Major Bloodnok?
BLOODNOK: You can't be! You look too rich! Good heavens! What's that you've got in your hand?
SEAGOON: Microfilm sir!
SEAGOON: Found in some German boots, washed ashore at Southend-on-sea at Brighton.
BLOODNOK: Boots? So that explains why that German spy was barefooted. This is an important find. Pull up a chair and sit down.
SEAGOON: I'd rather stand.
BLOODNOK: Very well, stand on a chair.
SEAGOON: Thank you.
BLOODNOK: I shall just put this microfilm under this powerful magnifying glass. It'll keep it flat while I put me glasses on, you see. Now, there. Ooo! Some kind of secret plan! I know! We shall have it photographed, keep one copy and send the other back to Germany. Might be a reward. You never know.
SEAGOON: What? Send them back to the enemy?
BLOODNOK: Ah! But with a difference! I'm going to post them without any stamps
SEAGOON: Gad, Major, you strike a cruel blow at German philately. Wait a minute. Supposing these are the invasion of England plans.
BLOODNOK: Don't worry lad. If the Germans ever invade England, we war office
Chiefs have Plan X ready.
SEAGOON: Plan X? Who's that?
BLOODNOK: Fast plane to Dublin, then submarine to South America.
SEAGOON: Major! You’re not going to run away from the enemy?
BLOODNOK: Well, there's no point in running away from anyone else, is there?
SEAGOON: Alright! Be it on your own head, as you wish Major, but we all know what happened to Colonel Bentine.
BLOODNOK: Errrr, what?
SEAGOON: Yes, ha ha! He sat right where you're sitting, now.
SEAGOON: In that very spot. Ha ha ha ha ha! He was frightened of the enemy. Hah! He put a thousand pounds of gold in his kit bag; booked a fast plane to Dublin, ha ha, and had a submarine laid on to take him to South America. Hehehehehe! Poor fool. He thought he'd got away with it. Hehehe! You know what happened to him?
SEAGOON: He got away with it! (crying) Ahhahahahhhhahahahah!
BLOODNOK: Oooo, dear!
GREENSLADE: All through the night, (and this is where the story really starts,)
Seagoon and Bloodnok, poured over the plans, sometimes they'd poured on
the floor, sometimes they poured in the glass, but mostly, they poured
over the plans.
MILLIGAN: Yes, gentlemen. Ahem. I have every reason to believe that these gin soaked plans of a secret German weapon, are really the brandy- soaked plans of a secret German weapon.
SEAGOON: Gad! Is there no end to their fiendish ingenuity?
MILLIGAN: I fear not.
SEAGOON: Dear listeners, Bloodnok, realising the significance of the discovery,
leapt to his feat and shouted for a messenger with a voice like thunder.
BLOODNOK: Send in a messenger with a voice like thunder!
Throat: Right, mate!
BLOODNOK: Seagoon. Take the microfilm at once, to the Woolwich Arsenal, and get the experts there to build this secret German weapon.
SEAGOON: I'll do my best, gentlemen.
Jampton: But we can't afford failures!
SEAGOON: Despite that insult, I left the building with my head held high, and
my feet held higher.
BLOODNOK: In that position we threw him out. Here is a recording of it.
GRAMS: (MILLIGAN: recording of garble at high speed)
BLOODNOK: You filthy swine! You see, it wasn't easy.
SEAGOON: Soon I was at the gates of Woolwich Arsenal, when I was challenged by a sentry.
GRAMS: pistol shots
WILLIUM: Haaaalt! Ooo goes there?
WILLIUM: Cor! Thank gawd for that, mate. Advanced and be shot at mate.
SEAGOON: I was mate.
WILLIUM: Ere. I recognise you...
SEAGOON: Do you?
WILLIUM: You're the bloke I was shooting at just now.
SEAGOON: What makes you so sure?
WILLIUM: All them little holes in your nut.
SEAGOON: Silly man! They're old bullet holes!
WILLIUM: I know. I was using old bullets!
SEAGOON: Fool of fools. You might've killed me!
WILLIUM: Ohhh, matey!
SEAGOON: No. Yes, now then, matey... Where's the orficer in charge?
WILLIUM: Er, Ray Ellington an’ 'is Quiltet, mate.
SEAGOON: Gad! Four for the price of one!
SEAGOON: [over] Hahahahaha!
GREENSLADE: And so the Woolwich Arsenal, set about building a full scale model
of this secret German weapon. And soon the yard rang to the sound of British workmen at top pressure.
FX: (slow series of dull hammer bows interspersed with whistling and Milligan singing)
FX: (followed by knock-off hooter, sounds of hammer dropping, massed boots running into the distance)
SEAGOON: They were away a bit smartish weren't they? Don't these workmen know there's a war on?
BLOODNOK: I haven't had the heart to tell them, you know. Be madness; if they
knew they'd rush off and join the army, anything rather than work, you know. Naughty.
SEAGOON: Yes, yes. Ahem. I'll tell you why I called this meeting. It is essential that we fool the Germans in thinking, that we haven't got the plans of their secret weapon. Isn't that so, Captain Frankfurter? He's a good old sausage.
FRANKFURTER: Ahh-eerrrrr, yes, ah, ahhhhhahhahh, er, perfectly correct, sir, yes, I-eerr-aahhhh, I suppose it is, yes, ahhhhh, atahhhhh, perfectly right, yes, I, I-I-I-I-I just-ah-I suppose, er, I-I-I-I...
SEAGOON: If you're not sure, say so!
FRANKFURTER: Ahhhh! Ahhh-ahh-ah-ah-a, I'm terribly sorry, I-er-er-er, I just -errrr, I-I-I-I-I mean that I-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-ahhh-ahh-ahh-aahhh, aaaahhhh-ahhh-ahhhhh...
SEAGOON: Well done Bloodnok!
BLOODNOK: I hated to see him suffer.
MILLIGAN:(ancient officer) Gentlemen, I think we're wasting time! I have here a man who claims that he has the perfect plan to hoodwink the Germans, with regard to the secret weapon.
SEAGOON: Oh. How do you do sir?
BANNISTER:(off) How do you do what?
CRUN: Errrr... Oh oh oh. Errrr.
BANNISTER: He's going to say ‘how do you do?’
SEAGOON: Well tell him not to bother.
BANNISTER: He said not to bother. The man says don’t bother.
BANNISTER: Don't bother to say, ‘how do you do’ Henry.
CRUN: How do you do, Min?
SEAGOON: Sir, please...
SEAGOON: Please, would you care to give us a brief resume of your plan?
BANNISTER: Ahhh! Wellll...
BANNISTER: Mr Crun’s got the whole idea from a Sunday newspaper.
SEAGOON: Certainly get some ideas from them, can't you?
BANNISTER: Oh dear. I'll have you know, Mr Seagoon, we don't spend our Sunday mornings reading those sinful Sunday newspapers.
CRUN: No. We just sleep on till teatime.
BANNISTER: …then we read the Sunday newspapers. Ooooohhh.I love those naughty-type revivals of rock an' roll.
*(The cast lose their places in the script.)
CRUN: Stop that naughty whatever you are...
SEAGOON: Please explain this plan! My life!
GRINSBERG: Now look. Listen, I'm his agent. Let me talk for him. He's a bit shtum this fella so can't talk a bit. Now look, I'll tell you what we do, we put a copy of German microfilm into the pocket of a man dressed up as a German Naval officer, float him ashore from a submarine, on to the enemy coast, and then, for an encore…
SEAGOON: We don't need an encore, I have my own piano. Commander Grinsberg, you'll get the OBE for this.
GRINSBERG: What have I done wrong? I'm living the good life, 'ain't I, now?
SEAGOON: Yes, yes...
GRINSBERG: What are you talking about?
SEAGOON: Yes, but who would be idiot enough to be dressed up as a German
Admiral and thrown overboard from a submarine?
GRINSBERG: Don't worry! Look, I've got an idiot in this box who’s been specially drowned for the job. Lew! Be a good boy and take the lid off.
FX: crowbar under the lid of a packing grate.
GRINSBERG: There you are gentlemen. Meet the man who never was!
ECCLES: 'Ello folks!
GRINSBERG: Gentlemen! Direct from his aqua-tank drowning act at the Rotunda,
Faversham - Field Marshal Montgoonery!
GRAMS: massed cheering
SEAGOON: Wait a minute! Wait a minute - this man is damp.
GRINSBERG: 'Cause he's damp. We damped him down for the night! He's the only Field Marshal with a private’s baton in his knapsack.
SEAGOON: But can we spare a Field Marshall?
GRINSBERG: This Field Marshall don't count!
GRINSBERG: No! He don't read or write neither! That’s why he's working the
Romford Empire this week.
SEAGOON: But we can't float him ashore, he's not dead!
ECCLES: Want to bet?
SEAGOON: Shut up, Eccles!
ECCLES: What? Shut up! Shut up Eccles!
BLOODNOK: Shut up!
ECCLES: Shut up Eccles! Shut up! Shut up when you say shut up to me!
SEAGOON: Look here...
ECCLES: Shut up!(extended)
SEAGOON: This man is completely S – T – U - P – I – D!
ECCLES: Owwww! I heard that! Oh, you think that I'm S – T – U – P – I – D, eh!
SEAGOON: Candidly? Yes I do.
ECCLES: Ohhh. It's a good job for you I can't spell. (Sings)
ECCLES: I got a big a big hammer and I went BANG! BANG!
ECCLES: What about yours? Bang!
BLOODNOK: Ooooow-ah-ah! You naughty man!
SEAGOON: Dear listeners, with Bloodnok on his way to the Old Bailey, we had
cheering news from the Woolwich Arsenal.
BLUEBOTTLE: Captain, they gotted ready the secret German weapon what they have built from the microfilm plan.
SEAGOON: Great news, little cardboard grenadier!
BLUEBOTTLE: Hello everybody!
SEAGOON: Here's an orange.
BLUEBOTTLE: Oh, thank you.
SEAGOON: Well, I must be on my way. Chilvers?
GREENSLADE: Yes sir.
SEAGOON: Lay out my road.
SEAGOON: And see that the pavements are clean.
GREENSLADE: Very good sir.
BLUEBOTTLE: Can I come with you to the testing this weapon, Captain?
SEAGOON: I'm sorry, it's too dangerous Bluebottle...We can't afford to risk the life of a young idiot, like you.
BLUEBOTTLE: Is that why they're sending an old idiot, like you?
SEAGOON: Exactly. You stay here and guard the pavement.
BLUEBOTTLE: Oh, let me come with you, Captain. I want a chance to prove I'm a man!
SEAGOON: Report to the M.O. Taxi!
BLUEBOTTLE: Oh! Thank you!
ORCHESTRA: dramatic link
GRAMS: (various military rhubarbs, mezzo forte)
SECOMBE: Rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb.
SEAGOON: It was an exciting moment as I stood amongst the high ranking officers. In the centre of the testing area stood the sinister outline of the mysterious German secret weapon.
Jampton Major: Yes, umk, 'ello gentlemen, before we remove the cover from the V three, I'd like to say that we're not quite sure what its potential is. Ahem. It might well be that this is the most devastating weapon we've ever tested in the Woolwich Arsenal.
GENERAL: Yes, now; we've taken great care to construct an exact replica of the plan found in the uncooked Germany boot.
Officer SECOMBE:(Hooray) Hear, hear. Hear, hear. Good show.
GENERAL: (Oh dear, Charlie's here.) Now then the rather ominous part; the only operating mechanism on this weapon is a small metal handle. And before we turn it gentlemen, we must take precaution. Sergeant?
SERGEANT: Yes sir! Gentlemen, will you all please take up positions behind that forty inch, anti-gamma-ray, lead-lined wall.
SERGEANT: Alright, sir!
GENERAL: Right, Sergeant. Gentlemen, I shall be turning the handle, five seconds from now. Five, four, three, two, one. Turn.
GRAMS: clunky old barrel organ
SEAGOON: Gad! What fiendish ingenuity. A barrel organ!
BLOODNOK: Don't waste it! Eccles! Up on the top and start scratching. Secombe, the tin mug, and off we go!
Fx: coin dropped in a tin mug
SEAGOON: Thank you.
ORCHESTRA: play out
GREENSLADE: That was the Goon Show, a BBC recorded programme, featuring Peter Sellers, Harry Secombe, Spike Milligan, with the Ray Ellington Quartet, and Max Geldray. The orchestra was conducted by Wally Stott. Script by Spike Milligan and Larry Stevens. First written and recorded in March .
Announcer Wallace Greenslade. Production by Charles Chilton.